Maine Revised Statutes

§2302. Support obligations when obligor receives public assistance

1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Assisted obligor" means an obligor under a court or administrative child support order who receives:
(1) Supplemental security income; or
(2) Public assistance for the benefit of a child of that obligor. [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
B. "Order" means a court or administrative child support order in existence at the time an obligor becomes an assisted obligor. [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
C. "Public assistance" has the same meaning as set forth in section 2101, subsection 11, except that it does not include medical care only. [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Child support obligation during period that obligor is assisted obligor.  For the period during which an obligor is an assisted obligor and for 2 weeks thereafter, the assisted obligor's child support obligation is automatically suspended. At the end of the 2 weeks, the obligor's child support obligation resumes automatically at the same level at which it was suspended unless modified by an order entered pursuant to subsection 3.
A debt previously incurred under section 2301 may not be collected from a responsible parent while that parent is an assisted obligor, except that such a debt may be collected from nonrecurring lump sum income, as defined in Title 22, section 3762, subsection 11, paragraph A, of a responsible parent while that parent is an assisted obligor.
[ 2011, c. 550, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Obligee's opportunity for modification.  The obligee may seek to modify the effect of subsection 2 by filing a petition for modification with the court or the department, whichever issued the affected order. The court or administrative hearing officer may, by order after hearing, modify the effect of subsection 2. The court or administrative hearing officer, in determining whether to make such a modification, shall consider the suspension in subsection 2 and the child support guidelines under chapter 63. For purposes of the hearing, a substantial change in circumstances is deemed to have occurred.
[ 2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Department notification responsibilities.  As soon as practicable after the department knows that an obligor has become an assisted obligor, the department shall send notices to the obligor and obligee notifying them of:
A. The obligor's status as an assisted obligor; [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
B. The existence of the suspension in subsection 2; [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
C. The obligee's opportunity to contest the suspension by seeking a modification as set forth in subsection 3; and [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
D. The location where forms for modification proceedings can be obtained. [2001, c. 255, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 186, §4 (AMD) .]
1995, c. 694, §B2 (NEW). 1995, c. 694, §E2 (AFF). 2001, c. 255, §1 (RPR). 2011, c. 550, §1 (AMD). 2015, c. 186, §4 (AMD).